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Dr. Lloyd's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support Dr. Lloyd has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Fixable Mistakes with New Eyeglasses

It’s always disheartening to try on new prescription eyewear and sense they are not right: things appear blurry, tilted, worse than your old glasses. Hey, what’s the problem?

Sometimes the prescription is completely accurate and you simply need to adapt to the revised correction – it might take hours, days, weeks. Changes in astigmatism correction (cylinder axis and power) are often responsible.

Let’s say that is not the case; how do you get satisfaction? Fabrication of new eyewear involves many different steps and at each step there is a chance for errors to occur.

First, ask the optician to verify the prescription. That is to say, confirm that the corrective power in each lens matches what was written on the prescription slip. The Federal Trade Commission says nearly one-third of prescription glasses are sold with measurable errors. It could happen to you: reversed plus and minus signs, mismatched eyes, incorrect lens powers, inappropriate lens curvatures, misaligned bifocal segments, the list is truly endless!

If no spectacle errors are identified have the optician contact the eye clinic to verify that the handwritten prescription slip matches what the eye doctor wrote in the clinic chart. Document transcription errors are very common in busy clinics.

By now most goof-ups are identified and corrected at no charge to the customer. If you still cannot see well with the new eyeglasses take them to your eye doctor who can repeat the above steps, just in case the optician is obfuscating. At the same time your eye doctor can quickly repeat the refraction and compare the results with the earlier measurements. Yes, it’s true, doctors make mistakes, too!

Be a savvy healthcare consumer. Don’t pay for eyewear that you know does not work. It is very likely that a mixup has occurred – usually a very fixable mixup.

Related Topics: Eat Your Veggies, Keep Your Vision, Fish Oil May Help Save Your Eyes

Technorati Tags: glasses, bifocals, prescription errors

Posted by: Bill Lloyd MD at 11:57 am

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